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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Adequate relief materials needed to face the deluge

FLOOD situations in the country's North and Northeastern districts including, Kurigram, Jamalpur, Gaibandha, Bogura, Rangpur, Sirajganj, Tangail, Sylhet and Cox's Bazar, are being deteriorated as floodwaters are submerging new areas each day. In Kurigram, at least five people were killed in a boat capsize on Tuesday and another victim drowned in floodwater. Academic activities in at least 1,376 government schools in eight districts came to a halt for the days following the floods. Besides many schools were being used as flood shelter centres. Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre on Tuesday announced that the flood situations in the northern districts worsened further as all the major rivers showed a rising trend. The government has become a mere bystander as it did nothing for protecting the flood-prone districts.
Not only that, the overall flood situation in the chars and river basin areas of the Brahmaputra at four upazilas of Gaibandha have also deteriorated further due to constant rising of water level in adjacent rivers. The Brahmaputra-Jamuna and the Ganges-Padma rivers might continue rising in next 48 hours and the River Atrai at Baghabari and the River Padma at Goalondo point likely to cross danger level in the trend continues. Already standing crops, including jute, Aus rice, vegetables and seedbeds were damaged by the floods.
In the flood-affected areas, the acute food crisis has compelled not only the humane but also the livestock starving. There is also scarcity of pure drinking water due to the submerging of tube wells. In most areas, the district administrations have not yet started relief distribution due to shortage of stock and supply. This year, we observe that recurrence of the flood could not have managed due to taking unsustainable policy and project, using substandard materials in constructing embankments, and widespread corruption.
The government must provide enough food and shelters for the flood-affected people.  In the next stage, it needs firmness of the authorities concerned to stop the recurrence of flood. We think dredging rivers, reclaiming canals with ensuring the natural flow of water would help a lot to control the flooding. But first of all stopping corruption in constructing embankments is a must.